Cryptocoryne noritoi Wongso

Limestone areas are common in Borneo, in the Malaysian part Sarawak we know C. ferruginea and C. keei, while in the Indonesian part Kalimantan we know C. hudoroi from the south. This newly described species C. noritoi originates from East Kalimantan where it grows in an eroded limestone area with numerous springs and underground rivers. The species is also unique for there are hardly Cryptocoryne known from the eastern and northern parts of Borneo. C. noritoi is a narrow endemic, for up today we know it only from three localities very close to each other.

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A single pond, fed by a spring in the limestone area. In the background a patch of C. noritoi. Note the blue slipper besides it.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317
photo Takahashi
The same pond with a close up of the emersed growing plants.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317
photo Takahashi
Another spring with the typical ┬┤blue water┬┤ what is common for these limestone springs.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
photo Takahashi
In the stream that runs off of the spring (picture left) big patches of C. noritoi are found.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
photo Takahashi
i
       
The transition of emersed to submersed stands of C. noritoi.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
photo Takahashi
Note the pronounced furrows in the leaf of C. noritoi, this feature remains also in cultivated plants.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
photo Takahashi
C. noritoi grows together with small stands of Ceratopteris, Blyxa and Hygrophyla. In the stream also big stands of Piptospatha are present.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
photo Takahashi
A semi emersed plant of C. noritoi. The spathe stands on a long peduncle, up to 10 cm
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
photo Takahashi
       
Semi-emersed plants with a spathe on a long (up to 10 cm) peduncle.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
photo Takahashi
A more upright limb of the spathe with a more orange color.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
photo Takahashi
An emersed specimen with an almost sessile spathe. Note the furrows on the limb of the spathe.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
photo Takahashi
A spathe with an almost for 90 degrees bent limb of the spathe.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317
photo Takahashi
       
The following pictures are from cultivated specimen. Note the brown markings at the lower side of the leaves on this plant. The ruler is in cm.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317, cult B 1086
The leaves are grass green on the upper side, the lower side is 'normally' pale green. The limb of the spathe is a bit bend sideward.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
The leaf blade has furrows (depressions) along the main veins.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
Also in cultivation, C. noritoi has a long peduncle, what is seldom seen in emersed cultivated plants.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317, cult. SW 201
photo Wongso
       
While ripening, the bud is erect and almost hidden by the cataphyls. The ruler is in cm.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317, cult B 1086
A freshly opened limb of the spathe. It will bend 45 to almost 90 degrees.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317, cult B 1086
Note the slight constricted upper part of the kettle.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
The color of the limb may vary from brownish to orange to yellow.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317, cult. SW 201
photo Wongso
       
The surface of the limb of the spathe is covered with fine brownish protuberances.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
The limb seen from the back. Note the two pronounced furrows almost over the full length.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
The furrows over the limb may be less pronounced or even absent.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
Detail of the limb showing brownish protuberances on a creme background.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
       
A length section of the transition of the very short tube to the limb of the spathe. There is no collar.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
A length section of the kettle showing the female flowers at the bottom and the make flowers at the top of the spadix. Note the slight constriction in the upper part of the kettle.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
Less constricted and showing the (whitish to) yellowish flap which covers the male flowers. Note the length furrows in the kettle wall, normal in a spathe of a few days old.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317, cult. SW 201
photo Wongso
A hardly constricted kettle. The lower part of the kettle may be densely red spotted.
coll. Takahashi NT 0317, cult B 1086
       
The styles with the stigmas bent down after ripening. The small (greenhouse) insects apparently like the taste.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
Stained pollen of C. noritoi show a fertility of more than 90%.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401, cult B 1085
Line drawing of C. noritoi. Note the relative long peduncle of the spathe.
coll. Takahashi NT 0401
drawing Line Jacobsen
Distribution of C. noritoi in East Kalimantan.
       

At first glance C. noritoi has some resemblance with C. moehlmannii, a native from the west coast of Sumatra, by its even green leaves and the oblique limb of the spathe. Details of the spathe are however quite different and also the pronounced furrows on the leaf of C. noritoi are distinguishing. The chromosome number of C. noritoi is 2n = 34 in contrast to C. moehlmannii which has 2n = 30.
As C. noritoi grows in a limestone area, the water is very hard and the pH reaches up to around 8. Surprisingly, it also grows well in a rather acid soil of decomposed leaves of of the beech tree (Fagus sp.). For that reason it may be a very good aquarium plant.

Updated October 2005

Literature

Wongso, S. & J.D. Bastmeijer, 2005. Cryptocoryne noritoi Wongso (Araceae), eine neue Art aus Ost-Kalimantan (Indonesien). Aqua-Planta 30(3): 92-100.(document service)